Staff Review: IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Resistance!

Climbing to our number two spot in Easy Street’s best of 2018 list was IDLES sophomore album Joy As An Act of Resistance. An album tackling themes of grief, anger, immigration, and masculinity with gritty and honest lyrics. The album's opening track Colossus sets the tone for entire record with a slow start crescendoing to a fast-paced, loud end. The song begins with singer Joe Talbot expressing his utter exhaustion “I was done in on the weekend, the weekend lasted twenty years.” This feeling is accompanied by the deep bass of Adam “Dev” Devonshire and Jon Beavis’s melodic tapping on the rim of the snare. The intensity builds as Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan bring in the high-end wailing of dual guitars. As the intensity and loudness reach its breaking point the sound comes to a screeching halt. Moments of silence pass and suddenly Dev shouts “1-2-3-4” and the silence is shattered with the raw grit of defiance that is reflected throughout the entire album, ushering in a new theme and emotion; openness, resistance, and vulnerability.

Inspired by the grief felt of losing a daughter Joe Talbot takes time to carefully de-construct the myth of masculinity and embrace the feeling that comes with being open and accepting the support from the community around. At a time where political and emotional strain is at an all-time high, Idles offers a refreshing taste of what it means to be human, emotions. The album starts off dark and angry with tracks such as Never Fight a Man with a Perm, and I’m Scum, a song predicting what everyone will have to say after hearing the record. Never Fight… features one of the more aggressive drum beats on the album with quick Tom rolls and a snare sound so snappy in hard it sounds like Jon is about to break his set. As the album progresses we hit the darkest song on the album June, an ode to his stillborn daughter and the grief felt with lyrics such as “Baby shoes, for sale, never worn” and “Stillborn, stillborn, I am a father.” As the album progresses we reach a more positive sound revolving around the community love he felt and opened up to as time went on. This can especially be heard with the track Television “If someone talked to you, the way you do to you, I’d put their teeth through, love yourself!” And in the song “Cry to Me” Originally performed by Solomon Burke “Well here I am honey, come on, cry to me.”

Idles is not only a band with something to say but say it with loud, aggressive, and ultimately fun music to listen to. Having seen them at The Sunset Tavern this year, Idles performed a 17 song set with no breaks and with a level of energy unseen before. Idles stands to be one of the greatest bands of this year and many years to come by delivering true messages with backing music that is unlike anything heard before. If you end up liking this album be sure to listen to their debut album Brutalism.

- Dillon Stearnes Easy Street Floor Supervisor